Top Signs You Move Too Fast in Dating
Slow down and enjoy dating
When you were a young teenager, did you scribble your crush’s name on your folder, drawing hearts and rainbows and imagining how your first name would sound combined with his last name? If so, that’s fine if you’re 13, but if you’re still doing it at 33, then you need to slow down and stop fantastizing too soon about the guys you are dating or crushing on.
Don’t imagine long holidays away together, honeymoons, holidays with your family or living together if you don’t even know the guy yet. If you do, that means you’re reading way too much into his early words and actions and no relationship can withstand that kind of pressure.
When you make decisions based on your own skewed expectations in dating, you often miss the opportunity to meet the right person. Find out if you move too fast in dating, and what to do about it.
Don’t fast forward a relationship
When a woman thinks that she only has one chance left to meet a guy, that her biological clock is ticking, then she’s apt to fast forward a relationship in her head without really knowing anything about the guy, said Anita Chlipala, a dating and relationship therapist in Chicago.
As soon as you think there’s not enough men to go around, and that you’ll never find the right one, then you’ll convince yourself that he’s “the one” and start acting accordingly, introducing him to your friends and family, she said.
“The risk is that dating from this place of fear and scarcity harms a woman because she risks settling for a guy who isn't right for her,” Chlipala said.
Three signs you're moving too fast
Michelle Frankel, founder of NYCity Matchmaking, shares her top three signs that a woman is moving too fast in dating:
- The relationship is always about sex rather than getting to know each other. When a woman moves too fast, physically, the man is most likely going to assume their relationship will only be sexual. Many women do themselves a disservice by sleeping with the guy on the first or second date. To men, this comes off as only wanting a physical and sexual relationship, not a lasting one at an emotional level. You must get to know a guy before rushing into the physical stuff.
- You make them a priority, but it is not reciprocated. A surefire way to tell you are moving too fast when dating is when you begin making the man a priority much too early in the relationship. If you find yourself going out of your way to work around his schedule, but he won’t do the same, you are probably moving too quickly. Give the relationship some time to develop before expecting the other person to drop everything for you.
- You over self-divulge. If you find yourself telling him your life story and family history on the first date, it is definitely time to hit the brakes. Try to determine if you are both speaking equal amounts on the date. If you have a great first date, there will be time to slowly share little things about yourself and family. Over divulging is sure to scare him off on the few dates, so instead ask him about his family. Dating requires a balance of give and take.
Slow down or risk losing out
Moving too fast can hurt a relationship, said Allen Wagner, a marriage and family therapist in Los Angeles.
“There are a lot of things that can derail a potentially fulfilling relationship, but the speed of the trajectory is a very significant factor that can lead to a partner feeling overwhelmed, or possibly bowing out of the relationship altogether. People tend to be insecure at the core, and thus have difficulty with another person being so sure,” Wagner said.
This can naturally cause a partner to wonder if the woman has ulterior motives such as wanting children or wanting his money. “If a man is wealthy, he could perceive the speed of the relationship as possibly manipulative given that not enough time has been spent understanding him as a person, and that possibly the woman is using a checklist to settle on someone appropriate,” Wagner said. “From a different angle, a woman can be hurting herself by projecting ahead, and looking for small signs that this person can be who they imagine, without taking the time to look at their man's present and past and what this more concretely says about who he is and who he has been, than his promises and fantasies.”
A healthy relationship follows a natural progression, including meeting close friends or parents, and then taking trips together, and possibly moving in together before eventual marriage. “The timeline for each of these steps can vary based on the person, and the previous history of doing such things, and how they played out. Remembering that there is about three months at the beginning of a relationship that is more about idealizing yourself and your partner, and less authentic, it's important to be realistic and look closer at what you really know,” he said.
“Putting all of your eggs in a shiny new basket can be tempting, but the burden of doing this can lead to the boyfriend feeling pushed to grow earlier than need be. If his past was lined with previous hurt (including his family of origin which may have been a family of divorce), he may need time to feel safe and that is okay. Being stagnant in a relationship or not pushing at all has dire consequences, and can create comfort zone that is difficult to get out of. Finding the right speed will depend on the partner, and their own self-directed objectives. Men typically want to lead, and being blackmailed to move forward (threatening the relationship with ultimatums) rarely ends well. Small steps to grow trust are encouraged, while continuing to address long term needs without labels can be accomplished as well,” Wagner said.